Dan Feldman

MEMPHIS, TN - APRIL 24:  Head coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs coaches Manu Ginobili #20 during the second half of Game Four against the Memphis Grizzlies of the First Round of the NBA Playoffs at FedExForum on April 24, 2016 in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
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Manu Ginobili says he’ll play next season

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Manu Ginobili opted out, but he wants to get back in.

Ginobili plans to play next season, he wrote on his blog. It’d be a major shock if it’s anywhere outside San Antonio, his only team in a 14-year NBA career.

The Spurs have Ginobili’s Bird Rights, so they can exceed the cap to give him any contract up to the max. If history is an indication, they’ll compromise based on whom else the team can land.

San Antonio met with Kevin Durant yesterday, though him bolting for the Spurs still seems like a longshot. One-time target Mike Conley is off the board. Pau Gasol still looms.

If San Antonio can get a big name, Ginobili will probably accommodate. If not, maybe it’s time to reward him financially for previous sacrifices.

What does this mean for Tim Duncan? I think he’ll make his own decision, but that decision could be influenced by a desire to make another run with Ginobili and Tony Parker.

 

Report: Wizards signing Andrew Nicholson to four-year, $26 million contract

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 11:  Andrew Nicholson #44 of the Orlando Magic is gaurded by Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the game at Amway Center on December 11, 2015 in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
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The Wizards were chasing Al Horford until he went to the Celtics.

So, Washington will split the money it allocated for Horford on a couple other bigs — Ian Mahinmi and Andrew Nicholson

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today:

Just a few days ago, the Magic declined to extend Nicholson a $3,394,726 qualifying offer. This worked out quite well for him.

Nicholson projects to be Markieff Morris‘ primary backup at power forward, and that’s a nice role for him. The No. 19 pick in the 2012 draft, Nicholson is a talented shooter with range that has extended beyond the arc. He has improved as a rebounder and defender, though he still has plenty of room to grow defensively.

If he puts it all together, he could be a steal. If not, he should still be a decent backup.

Report: Hassan Whiteside willing to accept below max contract if Heat sign Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant, Hassan Whiteside
AP Photo/Joe Skipper
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One person can stop Hassan Whiteside from becoming the first player in NBA history to go from a minimum salary one season to the max the next:

Kevin Durant.

Whiteside agreed to re-sign with the Heat on a max deal projected to be worth about $99 million over four years. But there’s a contingency in place.

Ethan J. Skolnick of the Miami Herald

How much wiggle room? It’ll take a ton.

The Heat meet with Durant on Sunday, but they’re longshots to add him.

Unless Whiteside is willing to accept far less than max, Dwyane Wade would also have to take a discount — and he doesn’t seem willing to do that. Maybe he would for Durant, especially if Whiteside is also sacrificing.

Even then, the Heat would almost certainly have to dump Goran Dragic and Josh McRoberts. That’s well worth it on their end, but are the Heat so appealing that Durant would still pick them without their quality starting point guard?

The Heat can have an appealing roster. They can have enough cap space to sign Durant. They probably can’t have both.

Which means Whiteside will probably get his max deal and place in history.

Report: Bucks nearing four-year, $38 million offer sheet with Matthew Dellavedova

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 31: Matthew Dellavedova #8 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks for a pass while under pressure from Khris Middleton #22 and Zaza Pachulia #27 of the Milwaukee Bucks during the second half at Quicken Loans Arena on December 31, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Bucks defeated the Cavaliers 96-80. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Win a championship, and teams will try to poach your players.

After decades of watching from a distance, Cleveland is learning first-hand.

Timofey Mozgov left the Cavaliers for the Lakers, and now Matthew Dellavedova could be headed to the Bucks.

Zach Lowe of ESPN:

I love the fit. Dellavedova can play with Giannis Antetokounmpo, whom the Bucks plan to start at point guard. Dellavedova should guard opposing point guards, and Milwaukee’s length behind him will protect him when his aggressiveness goes awry. Offensively, Dellavedova can be both a complementary ball-handler when Antetokounmpo needs help and a spot-up shooter when the Greek Freak is running the show.

The biggest downside to this deal: Dellavedova is a restricted free agent, and Cleveland might match.

The capped-out Cavs have no way to replace him with a comparable player. They can scrape by with Mo Williams (who opted in) and second-round pick Kay Felder behind Kyrie Irving. But that’s a downgrade for a team trying to win right now.

The only cost to matching is Dan Gilbert’s money. The luxury-tax bill alone will be huge, but at least there’d be no real detriment in team-building.

Dellavedova can’t sign an offer sheet until July 7, and the Cavaliers would have three days to match. That gives them time to figure out just how costly it would be — what J.R. Smith will command, which veteran point guards might take the mid-level exception or less to join a contender and, importantly, what LeBron James suggests they do.

Report: Evan Fournier re-signing with Magic on five-year, $85 million contract

Evan Fournier
AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack
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The Magic’s last few months — dumping Tobias Harris and Channing Frye; trading Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis and Ersan Ilyasova for Serge Ibaka, who’s headed into unrestricted free agency in a year; trading for Jodie Meeks; signing D.J. Augstin — have been confounding, to say the least.

But here’s a move that’s clear and logical.

The Magic announced their desire to re-sign Evan Fournier, and they’re doing it — at great value.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

I thought Fournier might have gotten a max offer sheet, which would have been worth more over four years — projected to be $95 million — than he’ll get in five with Orlando. This is a steal by the Magic.

Fournier is a sweet-shooting wing who can also attack the rim and has shown glimpses of doing more as a playmaker. And he’s just 23.

How Evan Turner will make more per season than Fournier, I won’t understand.

On top of it, Fournier’s cap hold is just $5,720,513. The Magic can use the rest of their cap space then exceed the cap to re-sign Fournier. You’d think by granting them such flexibility, he’d get more money.

Orlando did great here.